Well I’ve been away for a while, it was a sort of a break, I guess. I wouldn’t say a holiday or anything like that, it was just a “man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do” thing, really (bada-boom, bada-bing, eh, tony?).
If I ever want this blog to be anything I would have to be a bit more consistent with the weekly Friday posts. But fear not! I actually wrote a bunch of articles while umm…. nothing. I just wrote a bunch of drafts whenever I got ideas for posts. So I might post an extra piece sometime, but hey… hey, no I probably won’t, but I might. Going back to consistency is enough for now, right?
On with the show!
I guess to an extent I want the blog to be more serious and urban oriented, but I can’t seem to shake the comical tone out of my writing sometimes, and I hope you don’t let the tone disregard the ideas in the pieces, I’m not joking, I just like writing this way to make it fun. I do have other drafts that concern other ideas, but this draft started as a rant, and dammit I will rant about Amman and buses (read as “be-ooze-is” for funsies).
Oh and I really hope you get the joke in the title, I giggled at it for a good 3 seconds.
You know why we have a traffic problem? Because I would personally rather keep anyone I care about off the streets, where they would be endangered by rushing drivers or harassed by loitering drones misled by societal habits, or be left to waste time as they attempt to go home (I dare say) without a car. I think there are about 40% of the population who believe the same.
I think the authorities are trying to make people get off their cars, if they are not, then less-experienced fresh-graduates are more aware than they are (given that universities do teach about the importance of public realms rather than the mere “will” of a client). But I really doubt anyone could just not know things when they are in such positions of power, I think they know what needs to be done. Could they really not know? Am I jut being wishful when I say that? I just can’t comprehend the idea of people in power being ignorant, it’s just wrong.
I think the authorities at least know a bit about what they’re doing. Unlike many Ammanis, who always seem to think they know better than officials; who often overlook their own mistakes and cuss at others from behind their windshields (or fists if it gets really serious). Many in our society just tend to underestimate others, believing that their thoughts are the most relevant and correct, and that others (in this case: power figures) have no idea what they’re doing, when a lot of the time it just seems like baseless bashing, due to a lack of research. What I’m trying to say, is that many bash Jordan’s power figures, but why do you really think they’re so utterly stupid and villainous? Maybe the authorities are just out-dated, I really think so. Isn’t it time that the newer generations start running things along with the pas and mas? Or is it just out of the norm, that older, more experienced (and egotistical) people can be corrected by a potential-leaking youth?
Anyway, I think that to an extent, the authorities have an idea about what to do, this post is more about public transportation, not politics. Here’s what I think they’re trying to do:
- Make people follow the law by making it more risky to break it. Simple idea. Then again, how do you stop the traffic congestion from making breaking the law the best way out?
- Make it less feasible to drive cars everywhere, so as to make using public transportation more viable, which can be done by increasing the cost of gasoline. This, however, does not work if the public transportation is much less comfortable and unbearably unreliable, and has the clarity of a cup of coffee from a vengeful-looking coffee vendor, i.e. it looks dirty but you don’t know if it really is, I mean is it wet then dried dust or finger cheese on the handle? Why is the seat so black? Anyway, people just can’t put a price on their family’s safety/comfort, public transportation is just way too much of a hassle.
- Nope, that was it; that’s all that seems to be done. They did try making some street ads with a bus filled with “happy”, cartoony people saying that buses are better for you and your family. But come on, is that all?
Actions speak louder than words, and actions don’t show anything about improving public transit. Even the “Fast Bus” project (الباص السريع), in my opinion, is extremely wasteful and has was an unreasonable idea compared to fixing and organizing existing buses first. At least a bit of organization of the existing transit system would reduce some of the stress on the streets, and would make space for the damn “fast bus lane”, but the way it was about to be done near the Jordanian University just seemed like it’s an impatient attempt at fixing the whole problem instantly (impossible, don’t you think? It’s a lot deeper than that). Instead of wasting (maybe that’s a subjective choice of word, but I think it was a waste) all that money on a poorly studied attempt, they could have paid for more bus drivers to fill in time gaps, or to create settlements with private buses who don’t really have a schedule at all, to kind of get them on their side, maybe even provide service to areas with no easy/affordable connection to the city. But why didn’t they?
I find it strange really, especially since in recent years, and with the “green uprising” public transportation has become key in fixing existing social and traffic problems, I don’t get where the investment in the public realm is, it should be the best time for it, unless they’re just waiting for “security problems” to pass or something, such that their transparency about their plans would not mean more risk but more trust from the public. Truth is, nobody is going to invest in public transportation, the government has to do it for its own well-being, and it’s about time that government-provided facilities become cleaner and more efficient than privatized, over-priced, and polarizing ones.
Well those were my 2 groosh.
We’ll see what happens in the future, I guess, I’ll just assume and think about it until I find out if my thoughts made sense.
…Or perhaps I’m pushing so hard to put happenings into perfect sense, it’s just producing pretexts to poorly pondered planning policies.